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Last Updated: Friday, 16 December 2005, 10:11 GMT
Ntini puts Australia on back foot
First Test, Perth, day one (close): Australia 258 v South Africa 38-0

Makhaya Ntini
Ntini found conditions to his liking at the Waca
Inspired bowling by Makhaya Ntini gave South Africa the upper hand on the opening day of the first Test against Australia in Perth.

Ntini made the most of the extra pace and bounce available at the Waca ground to take 5-64 as the home side were bowled out for 258.

Andre Nel supported well with 3-29, while skipper Ricky Ponting top scored with 71 for Australia.

South Africa made a positive start in reply, reaching 38-0 by the close.

Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers struck two boundaries each to end the day on 18 and 14 respectively.

South Africa went into the game without batting star Jacques Kallis, who failed a fitness test on an elbow tendon injury, allowing Justin Kemp to make his first Test appearance since a tour to the West Indies in 2001.

We needed to do something special today and to take five wickets against Australia is a huge achievement
Makhaya Ntini

But the onus was on their bowlers after Ponting won the toss and opted to bat.

The tourists were soon celebrating success as Matthew Hayden tried to pull the second ball of Ntini's opening over and top edged to Jacques Rudolph at backward point, departing for a duck.

It was the first of several examples of poor shot selection by Australia.

Justin Langer played and missed on numerous occasions during the first hour, but he hung on until the afternoon for 37, helping a fluent Ponting add 111 for the second wicket.

They were parted when Langer tried the same shot which brought about Hayden's dismissal and skied the ball to Graeme Smith at mid-off.

Ponting, who hit 12 fours, played across the line to a straight ball from Pollock shortly afterwards and was lbw but Brad Hodge, dropped by keeper Mark Boucher on three, and Mike Hussey prevented further damage before tea.

Ricky Ponting
Ponting was severe on both front and back foot in the first session

From 180-3, however, Australia were plunged into trouble by the loss of five wickets in quicm succession for 30 runs.

Boucher atoned for his earlier error by catching Hodge off Ntini for 41 and Hussey (23) incredibly became the third left-hander to fall attempting the pull shot as Charl Langeveldt dived at mid-on to take a one-handed chance.

Adam Gilchrist contributed six before he tried to cut a ball from Ntini which was too close to his body and was taken at second slip and Symonds was bowled off the under-edge by Nel for 13.

Langeveldt was the weakest link in South Africa's attack, conceding 100 runs from his 17 overs but he ended a 33-run eighth-wicket stand between Shane Warne and Brett Lee when he had Warne lbw for 24.

Nel finished things off with successive deliveries as Nathan Bracken (10) and Glenn McGrath edged to Boucher, leaving Lee unbeaten on 19.

Australia: R Ponting (capt), M Hayden, J Langer, B Hodge, M Hussey, A Symonds, A Gilchrist (wkt), S Warne, B Lee, N Bracken, G McGrath.

South Africa: G Smith (capt), AB de Villiers, H Gibbs, J Rudolph, A Prince, J Kemp, M Boucher (wkt), S Pollock, M Ntini, A Nel, C Langeveldt.



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